Thursday, December 08, 2005


Calvert's Contributions: Conflict of Interest?

John Calvert, although he is has not been admitted to the bar in Kansas, nevertheless represented the intelligent design side at a highly unusual set of hearings on the science curriculum conducted by a subcommittee of the Kansas State Board last May. During those hearings, Steve Abrams, Connie Morris, and Kathy Martin heard testimony from witnesses brought into the state at taxpayer expense by the Discovery Institute and Calvert's ID Network.

At a state school board meeting in February to plan the hearings, Red State Rabble watched as Calvert sat with the board -- instead of in the audience, like the rest of us civilians-- and advised them on how to conduct those hearings.

Calvert also made donations to the campaigns of right-wing board members who voted to hold the science hearings and revise the state's science standards.

On Sept. 23, 2002, Calvert and his wife made a $100 contribution to the campaign of Ken Williard. William Harris, who headed the intelligent design minority on the science curriculum committee and testified at the hearings, also gave $250.

Connie Morris, one of three right-wing board members on the board subcommittee that conducted the science hearings, also received a $50 contribution from Calvert.

Certainly, the money that exchanged hands in these contributions isn't exactly in the Jack Abramoff league, but it does give the appearance of a conflict of interest nonetheless.

Tomorrow: Have right-wingers seen the light? Have they decided, now, to obey not only the letter but the spirit of Kansas campaign finance laws? We'll take a look at how they shuffled money around in 2004 and 2005.


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